tv [untitled] October 30, 2013 9:00pm-9:31pm PDT
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>> the regular meeting of the san francisco ethics commission is called to order. >> king? >> here. >> andrews. >> here and commissioner hur said that he will be here, seeing that we have a quorum we will start and he will be a few minutes late and commissioner hayon will be excused and to welcome mr. king as the newest commissioner and hopefully, you will find it interesting and enjoyable. thank you, mr. chair, it is a great pleasure to be on this commission, and i have followed your activities over the years. and i look forward to having a
very fruitful, and very interesting time, serving with all of you. >> all right, and at this time, i would, is there any public comment on either matters on the agenda or that are within the jurisdiction of the ethics commission in >> yes, thank you very much, commissioners. the corporate way, but the public library and don't give money to the friends of the library and i do have a graphic display and i hope that you know that on september 19, the california fair political practices commissioner in sacramento found that the city librarian was guilty of three years of violations for further report of gifts and these are laws that are designed to represent those in the public from representing the interest of those who give them money instead. and in order for the society to protect itself, the city library had to sign, every other year under penalty of
perjury that he attended ethics trainings on reporting gifts and in order for this society to protect itself, the city has to sign that he has taken training and after that he has signed the perjury that he had nothing to report, while he was receiving $65,000 per year, from the friends of the library. and these statements under the penalty of perjury had no effect on inducing the city library from making the required disclosures, the reason for the signature under the penalty of pergry is to make every violation willful and to create the constructive knowledge of the regulations. advice from the office and from the library department account ants and from the lawyers from the private non-profit providing money all had no effect in enducing city library to make the required disclosures, it goes without
saying that the oversight, and we don't have these laws, regarding the disclosure of gifts because everyone hates christmas and the laws are because the potential for conflict of interest exist and so that we can have some notice of the officials doing favors for the private wealth that are giving the gifts and we know that in the 12 years of the friends of the library, the friends of the library ex-spended $53 million. and the amount expended to benefit the library was 5.1 million or 9.6 percent of that total. the friends have no agreement with the city, but they do have an agreement with that city librarian and he is now acknowledged that the quarterly reports that were provided under that agreement were in fact never done. that the way off for the gifts, is that this private entity
gets to proceed without any accountability or oversight whatsoever. this is the trickle down effect from the fact that you were on notice, to the rest of the city that you regard the enforcement as negative, and by implication, the law breakers as positive. thank you. >> and, thank you, may the minutes reflect that commissioner hur arrived at approximately 3 minutes into that statement, thank you. >> >> members of the ethics commission, ray hartz director of san francisco open government. i was interested in the end of the september 23rd meeting and after hayon said that there are no members of the public here, commissioner renne said in part, i hope that the staff does not take the criticism to heart as it is not what we feel
who know what you are really doing. and he then proceeded to characterize all of the public comment as accusations. and this was followed by the statement. i think they weral unfounded comments. so every member of the public that appeared before this body and commissioner renne admitted that he said that everything that they said was unfounded. and i have read you before this good government guide that the body has to have at least an appearance of being fair and if you start out accepting everything they say is wrong, not fair. this was all followed by a quote from or sorry, the chair then said, thank you commissioner renne and i think that we all heartedly agree with what you said. and i suppose that we should be
grateful that you were so candid about regarding public participation and comment at these meetings. i am not. i think that it shows the dismissive attitude that you have toward public participation and disregard for any opinion other than your own, i find this for one, totally unsurprising and mr. chafy mentioned earlier, we made dozens of attempt to get the library commission to account for all of the money, the $53 million that he spoke about and where it them raise s
million and the citizens of the city without making any effort to look out after the interests of the library, and repeatedly, he has come before the library commission, and by extension the public and lied about the fact that he knew, where this money was going, when in fact he could not produce any documents. to substantiate that money and he was getting what he want and in return he looked the other way. >> that is the about the public record. >> and there being no other members of the public who wish to comment, and turn to item 3
on the agenda, which is a discussion, and possible action on annual report for fiscal year, 2012, and 2013. and so we began this discussion, at the last commission meeting, and they were several suggestions made we have incorporated almost all of them. and i have not gotten any additional feedback in the intervening time from commissioners or anyone else. i did bring this up with the chair person ann today and she didn't have anything else to add and we suggest that we move it forward. >> and do any of the commissioners have any comments or additions? >> mr. chair, i would just ask, that i, i know the commissioner has a rule that abstaining is not allowed and that you have to vote up or down. and in light of the fact that this is my first appearance and i have not been able to go
through all of this i would ask that there are issues that i simply would not feel comfortable. >> when we come to voting, i will ask the other commissioners if they agree, that you should be recused there are sufficient for a quorum without your vote. and i apologize without having alerted you, but they are really just, if you would turn to page 5 under the third bullet point from the bottom, the, the last line of it, i think has two and to the word handled twice, and so the
matter will be handled from their own regulations. >> delete that handle. >> okay. >> on page number six, the second line at the top, and i think that is supposed to be, from, rather than form. >> okay. >> and so i just corrected that typo. >> and then on page number 1 4, and in the second paragraph under investigations and enforcement, it now reads the ethics commission has the authority to investigate complaints that alleged violation of a certain state and local laws that related to,
i think that the tense is wrong. should either be are related to or just say that relate to. >> and change it. >> okay. >> other than that. >> i appreciate the work that the staff has done preparing that report. >> and any public comment on the report? >> >> commissioners ray hartz, director of san francisco open government and i would like it clear to the commissioners and the members of the public who might be watching sfgtv and when mr. saint croi said that he considered considered all of the input and i would like to stipulate you late that he considered the input from the commissioners and the staff and however even though the members of the public gave the significant input at the last meeting i don't think that was even considered let alone included and i myself in
writing and orally, gave such suggestions and after review of the annual report and i feel that you have confused the activist with the accomplishment and and the report is filled without any incomes without anything that i can find, it says that the commission is pledged to a high account of accountability. city lie breanne was found guilty by the ftpc by failing to report the gifts that he received in multiple years with no belief that this body would take any action, the speaker took the matter to a state agency. after multiple training called the multiple sunshine declarations and trainings in ethics rules and statements all under the penalty of perjury and that he took those
trainings and then proceeded the year after year file annual statements with the fdpc form 700, and that all said that he got nothing. and he did those under penalty of perjury, now. his amended filings showed that thousands of dollars of such gifts and the library commission most recently and illegally statement and it was illegally produced and illegally revised and illegally approved and released it to the media from the lie brae on the stationary and did it all out of the site of the public and multiple and not only violating the sunshine ordinance but the brown act because they did not have enough courage to talk about what they wanted to say in a public, open meeting. >> and so what they did is they went behind the public's back, and they directed a city
employee to commit an illegal act by issuing this statement to the san francisco bay guardian, knowing full well and then that they had the gal to say yeah, even though, we didn't realize what we were doing was illegal and restrakt the statement and after it had been printed in the press. and now either you have a bunch of morons who take this training and have not got the faintest idea of what is going on or you get the people who take it and don't give a... what it says. >> may i ask you a question. you provided the staff with some language that you wanted to include in the annual report? that they failed to include? >> yes. in my public testimony, regarding the report at the last meeting, i gave a number of suggests as far as what it is but i heard the suggestions from the other members of the public and i looked to see if any of those were included. and this is where they would do
the minutes and what you wrote about what i said is wrong. and it they will change everything, but would not change a single thing what we said and even though what we said was incorrectly represented. >> my recollection may be faulty because i am getting old. but i don't recall but we specifically dealt with the annual report at the last... and have you looked at the minutes before the september 23rd meeting. >> it is not that one. >> page 7 of the minutes under public comment. >> and it is a 150 word summary and only a few minor modifications for acceptance of this report.
to us >> i second, and you heard commissioner king that want to be recused because he is not familiar with the report and is anybody opposed to, and it has been recused and we actually have to do this as an official action. the commissioner will make a motion that he will be recused and someone needs to second. >> i asked to be recused from voting because it is my first meeting although i have read and looked over the materials i don't feel that i have been privvy to the substance that is give and take on it to make an informed decision on this point and given the fact that the commission does not have a procedure for abstaining, and i think that recusal is important for me to do. >> and you can view that request that any public comment. >> first we need a second. >> i just want to read a
question, i have no objection to mr. king's request. but i just want to make sure that the city attorney is comfortable that that is appropriate. >> i think that it is fine given the circumstances here and given that there is a quorum. without commissioner king, i think that it is fine. >> i second the motion. >> any public comment? >> commissioners ray hartz, director of san francisco open government and i would like to thank commissioner king for starting out on a good foot. i think that when a commissioner member approves minutes or any other document approved by a body, he or she is not producing or voting on the nakt it be issued but they are actually stipulate you lating that they have reviewed
with the contents others there is something contrary to your beliefs in that report and you will be approving it having not read it, i think that, the commissioner is well within his rights and i commend him on that because, without knowing what, you know, it is like, finding those form 700s. and you are signing something and you don't know what is in it, or if you sign something and you know what is in it and you know that it is a lie you know that it is a problem. >> all of those in favor? >> aye. >> and any opposed? >> all right. reflected. three to nothing. >> actually it is four to nothing. you have to vote on that. >> and aye. >> okay. and now there is a motion on the floor. go ahead. >> and this motion on the floor to adopt the draft report which we have before us with the
corrections, that i pointed out or the typos. all those in favor. >> aye. >> aye. >> opposed? >> it is carried 3-0. >> and turning to item 4 on the agenda, a discussion and possible action on the minutes of the commission's meeting of september 23rd. anybody have any suggested corrections? >> public comment? >> ray hartz and, they were all
unfounded comments and that was made earlier in the earl comments. and this is closely followed by chair hayon agreed, and when in the presence of the public, these members are silent. and after the public leaves, however, they find the courage to speak out. i hope that the staff realizes they are being damned with faint praise and commissioners indicate support only when there is no one around to hear and so when we are hear making our statements they don't challenge us, and if there are statements about you, they don't challenge it and it can be hurt by the members of the public and wait for the members of the public to leave and then they screw up their courage and make the comments and one thing that i would like to point out they tried to make it sound like it was the staff that we are criticizing and it is almost, 100 percent mr. saint
croix and usually what it is is a result of his management and supervisor style. and the commissioners, and i hope that the public realizes that they are dismissed out of hand, and most of the comments are negative is that the members of the public see nothing positive. only those who really have the grievance, and i am the only meeting that is here. from your behavior that you don't give a... what they think and you just went ahead and said it. after a while many don't bother to attend as albert einstein said the best definition of insanety is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different out come.
this is politics. we all know it. you are appointed by different city agencies and you are here to defend their interests. and you have no real interest in defending the rights of the public, and we can see that in your or your complete absence in the previous report of the sunshine ordinance and your responsibilities in the sunshine ordinance and the fact that over these 13 years, you failed to do anything to enforce it. and in fact, i would like to hear one member of this task force all right, this commission actually point out something in that report to point it and say that i think that we made a substantial improvement in the ethics of this city. >> do i hear a motion to adopt the minutes? >> i move that we adopt the draft minutes as written.
>> second. >> mr. chair, on this, i will vote on this, there is nothing really substantive here and i looked over the minutes and i do not need to be recused on this. >> all of those in favor of adopting the minutes as written? >> aye. >> aye. >> aye. >> all right. and adopted unanimously. and turning to item number six, >> just, number five, and the discussion of the executive director's report. >> two highlights and i point out after a very long time, we finally, have filled the educator position and so last week, the new person started and we are going to the training for that person and additionally we did offer the open auditor for someone who
accepted it and we will have someone else on board and so then next we have an open investigator position and so we will start working on that and the other highlight is that we finished with all of the various departments that handles all of the on-line filing and that final approval. that comes through just today and on the mind of the different agency and so that contract has been extended for five years which is a good thing. >> and under the record requests, john, you mentioned that there is an increase on the public record requests and what do you account for that? is that just seasonal? >> it is really hard to predict when they will come and when they will not. we have one record request last week that took two staffers, the better part of three days.
to fill in. and then and then we had a second record request. and in the previous weeks. anda say that it is seasonal, and it is just, there are so many different motivating factors behind them. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> mr. saint croix, willing terms of the file comparable to the terms that we had with them previously and i know that we previously gotten a good deal from them. and for the first time, since we have had the contract the actual dollar amount of the contract has increased and i think that the file has held it down low because we are san francisco is the anchor tenant and i think that after 6 years, the costs have increased, and but we ammortized it over the life of the contract. and additionally we still have
in place the agreements that there is a certain amount processing that they will do to create the forms for us as we develop the new needs and again this is the kind of thing that they will normally charge the other entities for but we are san francisco tends to be ahead in moving toward on-line filing of documents that other places don't, and so once we have our system for example, form 700 up and running that is a process where they can go and then market to others. and so there is a good benefit for us and the people, and in this contract. it is a very good one. just one other comment that i have and i see under the revenue report we budgeted $100,000 for the year and last year if my memory may be off and we hit that goal and exceeded it. >> by more than 25 percent. >> yeah, i thought that this was great and kind of divided it out by quaut and her generally a quarter. >> and i see that we have nine
and that is comparable to what happens year off year where you are slow going and it builds up over time. >> yes, it was the first quarter of the calendar year because a great many of the finds and not finds but excuse me, the fees and stuff that are due annually will come in and there is always a big bump there and additionally, a lot of the late filings and everything, that happened during the election cycle which we are in now and the election in november and so the processing late fees and late fines will happen after the election is over. >> thank you. >> and i also wanted to echo the commissioner renne and thank the staff and you mr. saint croix for the hard work reflected in the report and not just in putting it together but the actual work that was accomplished in the last fiscal year, thank you. >> any public comment the
executive director's report. >> commissioners, ray hartz, director of san francisco open government and i am only to comment on section 7 and 10 of this report. the first section, number 7, discusses the filing of form 700. and some focus needs to be placed on the fact that the filing of such reports are done under the penalty of perjury, the city librarian failed to figure that out. and he also didn't seem to understand that finding such a statement is perjury, even when it is not done in front of the public official under oath. and i have to believe that someone as intelligent does not understand those matters and there must be many more city employees who do not understand, and potentially a lot of other were filing and complaints with the ftpc against the members.